Peaceful
days are with us: the agenda looks strangely empty, but a few evenings are to
look forward to. A long-time-no-see friend wants to meet, a globetrotter is
back in the country. It was a night like that, a few hours ago. A couple
invited six friends, to share a menu according to the game season: hit by surprise,
made with love. Wine marriages were my responsibility and I chose for Greek juice,
except for one champagne. The guests had no clue about Greek wine, so the
purpose was to strike with unpronounceable varieties and icons. Kidonitsa
paired with warm feuilleté goat cheese, green salad and honey. Xinomavro rosé
with crisp topinambour soup. The main course was wild boar stew, paired with a radically
biodynamic Goumenissa and a Super Toscan Nemea. The Goumenissa immediately
seduced the audience with deep dark fruit and Mediterranean aroma. The Nemea,
Megas Oenos, opened slowly but surely towards a remarkable complexity. Finally,
the glass contained a fresh, powerful and ripely tannic bouquet. This 2011
needs some time to oxidize, whether it be in a carafe 24h up front or in a
cellar for five more years. Dinner ended with home-made mango and coconut cake,
freshly and finely paired with the world’s best retsina (aged in wooden
barrels) and with a 2001 champagne disgorged in 2012.

“Exceptional”
was the dining audience’s verdict. I closed my eyes, thanked the lady chef and
reflected on the potential of this kind of tasting discoveries. Friendship and
composition, will be this year’s themes.